The display that stopped traffic

So four of us are setting up at the Out of the Darkness walk hosted by AFSP, American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. I look over and see a group from the McShin Foundation putting up the display you see featured here on this page. They, of course, had permission to erect the display and I was glad to see recognition of the link between suicide and addiction. McShin has recovery programs and housing for 18+ and just started a Recovery School, McShin Academy, at St. Joseph’s Villa.

It takes about four or five people 2.5 hours to set it … Read more...

BAAA

So Bill Maher and I did a presentation Wednesday night for parents at St. Gertrude about addiction. Bill is a nationally known addiction interventionist and he had spoken with the students earlier that day. The young ladies asked a lot of questions during Bill’s presentation. And, as Bill put it, they were amazing and surprisingly engaged on the topic.

Thanks to a generous alumnus who unfortunately lost a child to overdose, these students got the gift of addiction education. We are, after all, in an opiate epidemic and this is the world our kids are growing up in. Having a … Read more...

My dad was an addict because I wasn’t the ideal daughter

Self blame. Confusion. Loss of self esteem. Those are the results of silence. This letter is from a friend of a friend who is about 20 years old. Young people do want to talk about mental illness, addiction and suicide. But they won’t if you don’t. 

My best friend growing up was Jaimie Smith.* I’ll consider her my sister always. So I see you on her page often and read your blog here and there because I know how much your son’s death affected her.original

I just wanna reach out and thank you for posting what you do because most … Read more...

Take Mental Illness and Suicide out of the Silos of Silence

My family suffered the triple stigma with our son – depression, addiction and death by suicide. Stigma can exist only in an environment where judgment and lack of education thrive. Which is precisely why we need to talk about them. Openly and without judgment.

I am stripping away the façade and hitting taboo subjects head on. The death of my son Charles Aubrey Rogers by suicide in June of 2015 taught me that.

Everybody has a story. Everybody has struggles. A visible success does not make any life perfect. And you know by now what can go on behind closed … Read more...

Top 10 posts in the last 6 weeks on annemoss.com

This is from April 16 until May 28. I started the blog at the very end of January.to 10 taboo posts

Here is the list from last time.

These are ranked by the number of visits from Google analytics so it’s basically your top ten.  I added a bonus #11 because although it’s Charles’ work which is important to me.

The one that ranks #1 is the one I thought no one would ever read or want to read. It was so cleansing for me to let go of it and not have it swirl around in my head all the time.… Read more...

Street Heart – #griefheart number 39

We went to the Westover Hills neighborhood picnic and I’m watching the kids play. I turn slightly to the left and there it was, staring me in the face in a big clearing calling my name.

I had been remembering how much Charles loved to play. Loved chalk, the bouncy thing, the balloons, the face painting. All of it. It’s way before he suffered from depression, felt suicidal, or succumbed to the lure of drug addiction. Back to a simpler time when a bad day was having your cake eaten by your dog. He refers to those days here … Read more...

Crying Heart – #griefheart number 38

The shower is the best place to cry. The good news is that I don’t cry everyday in the shower like I once did.

Sometimes I just have nice memories in the shower. But when I really want to let loose, I do it here most of the time. It might hurt like crazy but I let it all hang out and it feels good to do so. I often feel better after. You moms who’ve lost a child know what I mean, don’t you? The car and the shower.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart projectRead more...

Market Heart – #griefheart number 36

Charles would have loved our new neighborhood. Sadly, he died by suicide just 4 days after we sold the house. He did not even know where we were going to be living.

And the Farmer’s Market? He would have adored it. All that hustle and bustle. All the people and the buzz. Charles loved to be surrounded by people–the more the better. So when we went today, I thought about that, pictured him eating one of those giant home made donuts that most of the market regulars worship. As I was thinking about just that, this t-shirt met my eyeballs. … Read more...

Should you let your teen smoke pot at home?

brain-2

No. And they shouldn’t be drinking in your basement either.

I remember when we caught Charles with marijuana. He insisted he needed it to sleep and to quiet his anxiety. It had been so tough up until then to figure a treatment plan for him.

We said no after listening to his argument and we were firm but we actually did think about it. Trying to find the right medication to help your child is very difficult. So difficult you actually consider things that later you realize is nuts.

There is stigma with medication for mental health even though some kids need it … Read more...

Heart of Gold – #griefheart number 31

Charles had a heart of gold. Yes, he suffered from depression. Ultimately succumbed to an addiction to heroin and died by suicide.

But the person underneath the illness of addiction was a sweet, thoughtful person who cared about others. My sweetheart of a child was imperfect. He was stubborn. He was his own person. I do wish he was here with me. But I’ll have to carry him in my own heart instead.

What is the #griefheart project?

I explain my #griefheart project here.

See all #griefhearts so far on pinterest or on this blog by#griefheart category.… Read more...